Crews were at work Wednesday on the new Kokomo Municipal Stadium, just south of Central Middle School between Apperson Way and Union Street.
Two partially built dugouts are all that are recognizable, signaling to motorists on Apperson that what's under construction is a baseball facility. Yet city officials Tuesday announced a tenant for the stadium, scheduled to open in the coming spring.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based MKE Sports & Entertainment will bring a Prospect League team to Kokomo in 2015. Kokomo will be the 12th city to join the league, which started up in 2008 to provide collegiate players a little summer exposure to professional baseball and includes clubs from Terre Haute and Richmond.
MKE, which will lease the stadium from the city, asked community members to suggest a name, logo and team colors for the Kokomo club. The winning suggestion for a team name will earn $2,500, game tickets and other prizes. Entries may be submitted online at www.kokomobaseball.com.
"The opportunity with the Prospect League is to do something really meaningful in baseball," Mike Zimmerman of MKE said Tuesday. "We think we can put Kokomo on the map in terms of becoming a significant player in baseball."
Zimmerman couldn't have picked a more popular sport for the area. It just might be the county pastime.
Kokomo High School was state baseball champion in 1985, runner-up in 1988 and again in 2007 among 4A schools. Taylor High School won the 2A tournament in 2000, and Western High School took the 3A championship in 2012. Northwestern High School was 2A runner-up in 2005.
In 2007, the year Kokomo was the 4A runner-up, three Howard County baseball teams won regional crowns.
So boot up your computer or smartphone and enter a name for the latest addition to Kokomo's expanding quality-of-life portfolio. And while you're at it, send a congratulatory note to Mayor Greg Goodnight and the city administration for a job well done.